When Good Boards Go Bad in Low-Limit Omaha Hi/Lo

Omaha is a game of the nuts and even if you’ve got a playable hand in front of you, the flop can completely rewrite your plans. These almost always involve a made nut low or a draw to a nut low or a made nut straight in your hand – hands where you feel like you can seriously pot money in the pot and get rewards, when in, in fact, nothing could be further from reality.

Let’s look at this hand: Ad2s3dQc to start with as an example. Before the flop, that was a very respectable hand, on its way to a low straight and having enough of a kick at the top end to really give the player an advantage. Unfortunately, the flop is thus: 3c 8d 8s. Suddenly, the action is back to you and three people have bet – what are you going to do?

Let’s say you opt to scoop the pot. On the flop, your odds of doing so are better than they are on other hands, but you’re relying on two threes to come in and save your bacon. Since your chances at the high half of this pot are so thin and an ace or two can burst your bubble when it comes to the low, you’re looking and just walking off with no money and a lot of frustration.

You also have to remember that your opponents typically will not bet in Omaha without a reason – Omaha enculturation and education hammers home the point that the nuts are the best thing and in the above example, they’re either betting on a strong high hand or drawing the nut low and you’re still going to lose.

Learning when to step down is just as important as learning when to push forward in Omaha Hi/Lo. Since many players feel that they’ve got more possibilities to win in the game, they frequently make foolish errors that can bleed their bankroll continually. The next time you’re playing poker, take a few moments to really consider the actual outcomes of playing a hand that’s not quite as sterling as it was a moment ago.